I have been to Ifugao countless times because it is where I find my roots. We go there during summer and special holidays. I even took some of my elementary and high school years there.
But for Batad, I went there for three (3) times already. I will be combining my experiences in those three occasions in order to give you the best and ultimate travel guide for your next trip to Batad!
Ifugao is a province of the Cordillera Administrative Region. It is famous for its rice terraces. You can find these rice terraces in the municipalities of Banaue, Kiangan, Hungduan, and Mayoyao. The well-known Banaue Rice Terraces was once recognized as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. But with the increase of population and influx of visitors, sadly, it has lost its charm. However, you should not be disappointed because Ifugao offers you other rice terraces with equally astonishing beauty and cultural richness. One of which is the Batad Rice Terraces. Batad is a village located in the Municipality of Banaue. It is approximately an hour away from Banaue Rice Terraces.
What to pack?
The weather in Batad is relatively cool. It’s neither too hot nor too cold so you can just bring shirts, long sleeves and trek pants. But bring at least a light jacket or hoodie because for sure, the AC in the bus is colder than the actual weather outside. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen because sometimes, the sun can get harsh. Also, you will be visiting Tappiyah Falls hence you might want to bring your swimming wears too. Note that if you want to use swimming attire, you have to wear that under your shirts and pants because you don’t have any toilet there where you can change. P.S. the water is too cold. A rash guard is a better option.
Note that the mobile signal in Batad is very limited. You are lucky if you can even send a text. So before leaving Banaue, call or send a message to your loved ones if you need to.
Bring your powerbanks. And a lot of memory cards for your selfies!
How to go to Banaue
There are buses also that offer direct trips from Manila to Banaue. But if you choose to cut the 9-10-hour trip, you can go to Baguio first. Once you arrive in Baguio, hail a taxi that will bring you to Rimando Road where the Ittag van transport services to Banaue are located. Their previous location is at T. Alonzo. The earliest trip is 7:30AM and then followed by 10:30AM, 12:30PM, 2:30PM, 5:30PM, and last trip at 7:30PM. According to their Facebook account, even if the van is not full, the van will depart as scheduled. The good thing is they serve free coffee while waiting for your trip. Note that it will be a 6-hour trip. You will pass by Pacdal-Ambuklao, Bokod-Kayapa-Bambang-Bayombong-Solano-Lamut-Lagawe-Banaue. There will only be one stop at Guisset, Bokod which is 2 hours away from Baguio. There are karinderyas and snacks for sale. For all other necessities, I suggest that you buy them first in Baguio before starting the trip. The last time I took the trip, the fare is P330.00.
How to go to Batad
Upon arriving at Banaue, proceed to the Banaue Tourism Office. Register and pay the local fees. The fee is so minimal that you can surely afford. Please help local tourism. Also, you should always hire a guide for your safety. You can meet new friends and learn the culture through your guides so that’s a bonus. Guide fees can cost you about ₱1000-1500.
If you didn’t bring your car, you can go by: 1) Paying a tricycle which will cost you around 500+, good for three or four persons, or; 2) If you are lucky, you can ride the biyaheng jeepney to Batad. There are only two rides per day, one in the morning around 9:00am and 3:00pm. We took the latter. The fare is P50. That is way cheaper than the tricycle. It’s a 30-45-minute ride but the view will not bore you. And yeah, we were only few passengers but there’s a lot more of baggage in the jeepney. Welcome to the real probinsyano life. Hehe.
Before, upon reaching the saddle which is the end of the road, you have to hike a 45-minute walk down the hill. But now, the construction of the road made it easier to reach Batad. From 45-minute hike, it will now only take you around 10 minutes to see Batad. Before thanking manung driver, you have to arrange your ride back to Banaue. Ask other tourists who will join you to hire the jeepney.
During the 10-minute walk to Batad, you cannot actually see it yet because it is covered by mountains. It will be wonderful surprise indeed!
You have to register again and pay another local environmental fee which is ₱50. Just a few step away and you will get to see the rice terraces.
When to visit
The best time to visit Batad is when the rice plants are lush green. This happens during the months of April to May or October to November. But if you want to see the terraces during harvesting time, you can go there in the months of June or December. The pictures below were taken on a month of February. The villagers are starting to plant rice in the terraces.
Where to stay and eat in Batad
You can actually visit Batad as a day trip. But if you want to take it slow and enjoy the sceneries, you can stay overnight in the village or accommodation inns. These transient inns are not hotels but the basic necessities are available. In fact, some are designed as native Ifugao huts so that you can feel the real vibe at a fee of at least ₱250 per person. Some inns serve meals only that you need to pre-order the food so that they can prepare. We tried lunch at Gudda Restaurant. It’s enough to make you full.
Enjoying the Batad Rice Terraces and going to Tappia Falls
Basically, there are two highlights when visiting Batad. One is the Batad Rice Terraces itself and the second is the Tappia Falls.
Upon arriving at Batad, you will be welcomed by a number of stores that sell meryenda and refreshments. Make tambay in one of the stores, Gudda Restaurant, in order to enjoy the ampitheater view of the rice terraces. Catch your breath because you will start walking your way through the rice terraces itself. I suggest that you pass by the village on the base of the rice terraces so that you can visit the native houses there. There is also a store that sells Ifugao woven native clothings. On your way up to the falls, another store sells indigenous basket-backpack like the one I bought for ₱1000. If you happen to meet locals there, don’t forget to say hi and thank you.
Going to Tappia Falls is another adventure that you don’t want to miss. It requires a lot of strength because you will walk for about an hour in a steep stairway. The hike is not for those who have weak knees and faint hearts. You better do that warm up exercises!
You can swim in the falls but I tell you, the water is so cold. If you are really that brave then no one is stopping you. Just be safe.
Looking for more fun?
If you want more adventure, you can actually arrange a customized trek from Kinakin-Cambulo-Batad. Goodluck and have fun!
The Backpacking Lawyer is a practicing lawyer and a nurse by profession in the Philippines. While she enjoys her day job, she loves traveling and sharing her adventures and misadventures with you.